Shelby is the singer and keyboard player from Kyros, the British band from the heavy-yet-catchy end of the prog spectrum. She joins the pod for the week to answer questions from the HBFM audience about her recent experience of coming out as trans. It's all the questions regular guests would never, ever be asked, because they are far too personal – but that Shelby wanted to.
Shelby tells Tom how the band's audience have dealt with the news, and in particular, how her expectations, hopes and fears compared with the reality. Given the obvious parallels between the prog audience and the metal one, it's a particularly relevant topic for the show, but also a fairly significant consideration for a musician, and it turns out this was a factor in Shelby's coming out process.
One question also leads to discussion in great depth about what Shelby's experience of realising her identity was like, and the toll that process took on her mental health – even to the point she fears what might have happened had she not come to the realisation she was trans. This ends on a positive note, however, as Shelby describes the dramatic changes coming out has brought – all of them for the better.
Shelby speaks about how hugely important meeting an out, happy trans woman was in helping her understand her own identity, and in particular, in seeing it was not just possible but realistic that trans folk can have lives like the one she would like herself.
There is, of course, also some revealing discussions about Shelby's experience of coming out as trans in her personal life, and especially to her wife. She also talks about whether people making honest mistakes with things like pronouns go down with her, and – perhaps inevitably – the issues surrounding access to trans healthcare in the UK.
Matt rejoins the chat for this week's Hate Crew Gaybar, where this week's entries for the jukebox are 'Metamorphosis', the latest album from very-German sort-of-progressive black metallers Agrypnie, and (of course) 'Beautiful Ghosts', the latest release from prolific pod faves/Tom's on-air obsession Unreqvited, the Canadian one-man metal/soundscape artist. This section includes an awful lot of gushing, but will Matt rain on Tom's parade?
Inane ramblings to the side include further discussion of sparkly LGBT soup (yes, that's a thing, apparently), and a specialist range of beers Matt has found that are both excellent, and so gay they simply have to be served in HCGBs.